In the weeks leading
up to the draft, Perfect Game will be providing a detailed overview
of each state in the U.S., including the District of Columbia, as
well as Canada and Puerto Rico. These overviews will list the
state's strengths, weaknesses and the players with the best tools, as
well as providing mini-scouting reports on all Group 1 and 2 players.
Pennsylvania State-by-State List
Still Struggling to Gets Its Due as Premium Talent Producer
colleges should ever reach the point where they could compete on an
equal playing field with other college programs up and down the east
coast, and retain all, or most of the talent that is coming out of
the state’s high schools each year, then Pennsylvania might get its
due as one of the nation’s most-productive talent sources.
There is no shortage of
players being produced in the state prep ranks each year—223 in the
seven-year period from 2004-10 that went on to be drafted, placing
Pennsylvania 11th overall nationally—but most of that
talent either signs professionally or heads off to out-of-state
college teams, where the weather is a little warmer and the
competition a little stiffer.
Not even one of
Pennsylvania’s 10 Division I colleges reached this year’s NCAA
tournament. A year ago, only a 25-34 Bucknell team, which managed to
rise up at the right time and win the Patriot League tournament,
Meanwhile, almost every
top high-school prospect in Pennsylvania this year has committed to
college programs in North Carolina, South Carolina or Virginia.
Manheim Township High
catcher Cameron Gallagher and Cedar Crest High outfielder Derek
Fisher, who have jockeyed back and forth all spring on who will be
Pennsylvania’s first draft pick, have commitments to East Carolina
and Virginia, respectively. Only Peters Township High outfielder
Justin Bianco hooked on with an in-state school (Pittsburgh), but
that could become academic as Bianco is regarded as the most signable
of all the state’s better high-school prospects.
A year ago,
Pennsylvania had a clearly-defined top nine prep prospects. Five
signed professionally, and only lefthander Chris Kirsch stayed close
to home, attending Lackawanna Junior College.
contribution to the 2011 draft should be significant, by its own
recent standards, but could be substantial if all players with
Pennsylvania roots were credited as being from the state.
At least five players
attending out-of-state colleges have Pennsylvania ties, the most
noteworthy being Indian River State (Fla.) infielder Cory
Spangenberg, who is a projected first-rounder. Spangenberg earned
minimal interest from scouts and recruiters as a Pennsylvania
high-school senior before blossoming as a freshman at Virginia
Military Institute. He has since blown up into an elite prospect
after transferring to a Florida junior college.
This year’s crop of
Pennsylvania high-school players is significant, starting with
Gallagher and Fisher. Entering the 2011 season, Fisher looked like he
might be a serious candidate for the first round, based on his
prolific showing with the bat in the summer and fall. Some scouts who
saw him go off at the East Coast Showcase last August felt like he
might hit .290-.300 in the big leagues one day, with 30-35 home runs.
however, went backwards initially this season. At the same time,
Gallagher played extremely well, and soon moved ahead of Fisher on
the priority list of top Pennsylvania prospects for several teams.
For most of the spring, the two jockeyed back and forth as scouts
would often make a point of seeing both players on their same trips
to eastern Pennsylvania.
lies in his athletic 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame, his overall
development as a catcher and his raw power. He quickly settled in
this spring as one of the top high-school catchers in the country.
Gallagher also has
excellent bloodlines as his father Glenn (Blue Jays, 1981) and
brother Austin (Dodgers, 2007) are both former third-round draft
picks, and it is evident in Gallagher’s very savvy approach that he
has been around the game. His dad was an outfield/pitcher who played
at Clemson and peaked out in the minor in Double-A; Austin is a
corner infielder, currently in high Class A in the Dodgers system. If
the draft plays out somewhat according to form, Gallagher himself
could be a third-rounder in this draft, although he has been playing
well enough that he could easily edge into the second round.
Fisher’s bat is what
sets him apart. He has a classic lefthanded swing, though it tended
to get a little long this spring, at times. The rest of his tools are
just playable, and he profiles as a left fielder.
Though Gallagher and
Fisher have been the talk of the Pennsylvania prep ranks, several
other position players who, like Fisher, swing from the left side
could easily work their way into the top 10 rounds—especially if
signability is not an issue.
Tunkhannock Area High’s
Mike Papi has always had special appeal as a lefthanded-hitting
shortstop with arm strength and easy raw power, but managed to
generate a lot of interest this spring as a pitcher, especially after
his fastball spiked to 93 mph and he complemented it with an 81-mph
slider. Adding to the dilemma scouts must consider in evaluating
Papi’s futute role is his possible high price tag to buy him away
from a college career at Virginia, where he would be expected to
utilize the full depths of his two-way skills.
signability a major issue, that could open the door for Bianco and
Northern High outfielder Joe Tuschak to move up the high-school
pecking order. Bianco and Tuschak both impressed scouts with their
combination of raw lefthanded power, above-average speed and
Not all the best
high-school talent left the state in 2008 as the two most prominent
college players in this draft are home-state products. Both Villanova
righthander Kyle McMyne and Pittsburgh righthander Ray Black, have
fastballs that have been clocked in the mid-90s, though neither has
enjoyed consistent success, either this season or at any point in
their college careers, to vault them into the top two or three
McMyne (4-8, 4.75) was used as a starter this season by Villanova,
even though his max-effort delivery and dominant, two-pitch
repertoire (fastball, slider) are better suited in a short role. He
had a number of rough outings as a starter as his stuff and command
would typically falter after two or three innings. Scouts were quick
to recognize, though, that he was miscast in his role.
Black went just 1-1,
6.30 in 18 relief appearances on the season for Pitt, but that was
viewed as an accomplishment, of sorts, for the 6-foot-5, 225-pound
power pitcher, who has a lengthy list of injuries dating back to high
school, including Tommy John surgery in 2008 that resulted in him
red-shirting as a college freshman. Even last year, a knee injury
curtailed his workload to just 16 innings.
With his big, athletic
frame, loose, quick arm and a fastball that reached 97 mph in the Big
East Conference tournament, and peaked at 99 earlier in the spring,
Black is more than just a curiosity to scouts. But he has never
gotten into any kind of a groove in his abbreviated career at Pitt,
and it’s apparent that he has a long way to go in his overall
development. In 20 innings this season, Black struck out 33 but also
college players with draft aspirations—Pitt senior catcher Kevan
Smith (.397-11-56), Pitt junior first baseman David Chester
(.345-16-60), Penn State third baseman Jordan Steranka (.323-8-57),
to name a few—actually had much-better 2011 seasons than McMyne and
Black, but that pair clearly earned most of the attention from
Smith, a powerful
physical specimen at 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds, might be the biggest
wild card of any college talent in Pennsylvania. A former backup
quarterback for the Panthers, Smith continues to make significant
headway as a baseball talent in all phases of his game. He led the
Panthers in hitting this spring, and has grown into an acceptable
catcher with above-average arm strength.
The one college player
who may have actually elevated his stock this spring was athletic
Penn State center fielder Sean Deegan. His power (12 HR) and speed
package (6.6 in the 60) won over scouts, though his total of 60
strikeouts on the season was also duly noted.
Kirsch, a 13th-round
pick out of the Pennsylvania prep ranks in 2010 who chose to attend a
local junior college, remains on the radar, but may not have helped
himself for this year’s draft as his fastball dropped to the
mid-80s early in the season, compared to 92 in the fall, and then was
sidelined with tendinitis. Healthy again, Kirsch’s velocity moved
back to the high-80s late in the season, but he may not have done
enough overall to improve his draft standing.
Pennsylvania in a
of high-school talent.
(1-to-5 scale): 4.
BEST COLLEGE TEAM:
BEST HIGH SCHOOL
TEAM: Peters Township HS, McMurray.
PROSPECT ON THE
RISE: Cameron Gallagher, c, Manheim Township, Lancaster. Gallagher’s
father and brother were both former third-round draft picks, and
Cameron initially projected to go in the same round. However, his
game has developed this spring in almost every area, and he could now
be picked in the second round, or perhaps even in the sandwich round.
PROSPECT ON THE
DECLINE: Kyle McMyne, rhp, Villanova University. With his mid-90s
fastball and power slider, McMyne was being talk about as a possible
first-rounder at various times last summer and fall. But he hasn’t
consistently showcased his best stuff, or commanded his pitches this
spring in a starting role.
WILD CARD: Ray
Black, rhp, University of Pittsburgh. Between a reconstructed
right elbow (April, 2008), fractured hand (September, 2009) and torn
meniscus in his knee (December, 2009), Black has sustained his share
of injuries over the last three years. That has significantly limited
his time on the mound in that period, and undoubtedly will be a
factor in where he is drafted. Teams will also look at the flip side
of his equation and see a projectable 6-foot-5 arm with a fastball in
the high-90s. Black fits the definition of high-risk/high-reward.
PROSPECT, Pennsylvania Connection: Cory Spangenberg, 3b/2b,
Indian River State, Fla., JC (attended high school in Clarks Summit).
TOP 2012 PROSPECT:
Karl Keglovitz, rhp, Nazareth Area HS, Nazareth.
TOP 2013 PROSPECT:
Parker Bean, of, South Western HS, Hanover.
HIGHEST DRAFT PICKS
Al Chambers, 1b, John Harris HS, Harrisburg (1979, Mariners/1st round, 1st pick); Shawn Abner, of, Mechanicsburg HS (1984,
Mets/1st round, 1st pick).
2006 Draft: Kevin
Mulvey, rhp, Villanova U. (Mets/2nd round).
2007 Draft: Devin
Mesoraco, c, Punxsutawney HS (Reds/1st round, 15th pick).
2008 Draft: Drew
O’Neil, rhp, Penn State U. (White Sox/4th round).
2009 Draft: Darin
Gorski, lhp, Kutztown U. (Mets/7th round).
2010 Draft: Jesse
Biddle, lhp, Germantown Friends Academy (Phillies/1st round, 27th pick).
Derek Fisher, Cedar Crest HS, Rexmont.
Derek Fisher, Cedar Crest HS, Rexmont.
Justin Bianco, of, Peters Township HS, Venetia.
Cameron Gallagher, c, Manheim Township HS, Lancaster
Kyle McMyne, rhp, Villanova University.
Best Breaking Stuff:
Kyle McMyne, rhp, Villanova University.
GROUPS ONE and TWO
ONE (Projected ELITE-Round Draft /
CAMERON GALLAGHER, c, Mannheim Township HS, Lancaster
quick/agile behind plate at 6-3/210; + arm, strong swing/HR power;
brother in Dodgers system.
DEREK FISHER, of, Cedar Crest HS, Rexmont
LH power in 6-3/215 frame (.484-11-28), RF tools, 6.65 runner, Jay
Bruce comparison; UVa recruit.
TWO (Projected HIGH-Round Draft /
MIKE PAPI, ss/rhp, Tunkhannock Area HS
tools (6.85 runner, 94-mph arm, LH bat with gap power); also interest
as RHP; UVa signee.
JUSTIN BIANCO, of, Peters Township HS, Venetia
athlete (6-0/195); + LH bat speed/pull approach, 6.65 speed, CF
defensive tools, ++ gamer.
KYLE McMYNE, rhp, Villanova University (Jr.)
frame (6-0/215), max-effort; starter in 2011 (4-8, 4.75)/profiles as
closer; ++ stuff (95 FB, hard SL).
RAY BLACK, rhp, University of Pittsburgh (So.)
injury file has hampered development (16 IP in 2009-10); big frame
(6-5/225), loose arm, high-90 FB.
JOE TUSCHAK, of, Northern HS, Dillsburg
line-drive LH swing (.537-8-27), + bat speed/gap-power potential; CF
profile, + speed/arm, competes hard.
CORY DEEGAN, of, Penn State University (Jr.)
on as fast as any PA college player; + athlete, + LH bat
(.333-12-40), + speed (6.65 in 60), also 60 SO.
9. KEVAN SMITH,
c/dh, Pittsburgh (Jr.)
Ex-Pitt QB, ++ athlete;
starting to figure it out at plate (.397-11-56), behind plate (1.85
pop, OK receiver).